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Last update: February, 3 2021

Africa

Introduction

Africa is a continent that, with about 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles) including adjacent islands, covers 6% of the Earth’s surface and 20% of the land surface. So is Africa the world’s second-largest continent (if we divide America in two continents).

With more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, Africa is the second most populous continent after Asia and, in other words, it represents 17.2% of the planet’s population in 2020. Most importantly, the African countries have the highest population growth on the planet

By 1914, with the rise of colonial empires, Africa had only two sovereign states, Abyssinia (or Ethiopia) and Liberia. Since World War II, the number of independent African states has grown steadily, from 4 in 1945 to 27 in 1960, reaching 53 in 1993 and finally 54 countries in 2011.

Geography

Political map of Africa

Political map of Africa

Borders

Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. In addition, Africa includes also Madagascar ant the following archipelagos: Comoros, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde and the Seychelles.

Area

30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 sq mi) 

Physical map of Africa

Topographic map of Africa

Land cover map of Africa

Land cover map of Africa

Rivers in Africa

map of the major rivers of Africa

List of the major rivers of Africa with their length:

  1. Nile (6,650 km / 4,130 mi) 
  2. Congo (4,370 km / 2,720 mi)
  3. Niger (4,180 km / 2,600 mi)
  4. Zambezi (2,575 km / 1,600 mi)
  5. Orange (2,200 km / 1,400 mi)
  6. Senegal (1,750 km / 1075 mi)
  7. Okavango (1,700 km / 1,100 mi)
  8. Limpopo (1,700 km / 1,100 mi)
  9. Jubba (1,600 km / 1,000 mi)
  10. Volta (1,500 km (930 mi))

Population

Population

1,340,598,113 (2020)

Density of population

36.4/km2 (94/sq mi)

Population from 1950 to 2020

CC BY

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1.

Economy

GDP (PPP) (estimate 2019)

Total: $2.45 trillion

Per capita: $1,930

Natural Resources

map of natural resources in Africa

Africa contain some of the world’s most substantial reserves of precious stones and metals. Therefore Africa has the largest mineral industries in the world. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita. The table below represent the percent of the world production of Africa for various minerals.

MaterialPercent of world productionCountries
Coal5%South Africa (99%)
Uranium16%Namibia (46%)
Niger (44%)
South Africa (< 10%)
Diamonds73%Botswana (35%)
Democratic Republic of the Congo (34%)
South Africa (17%)
Angola (8%)
Gold89%South Africa (56%)
Ghana (13%)
Tanzania (10%)
Mali (8%)
Copper5%Zambia (65%)
South Africa (15%)
Democratic Republic of the Congo (13%)
Bauxite9%Guinea (95%)
Ghana (5%)

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African countries and capitals

FlagCountry nameCapitalPopulationArea
flag of AlgeriaAlgeriaAlgiers43,600,000 (2020)2,381,740km2
flag of AngolaAngolaLuanda31,127,674 (2020)1,246,700 km2 
flag of BeninBeninPorto-Novo11,733,059 (2019)112,622 km2
flag of BotswanaBotswanaGaborone2,254,068 (2018)581,730 km2 
Flag of Burkina FasoBurkina FasoOuagadougou21,510,181 (2020)274,200 km2
Flag of BurundiBurundiGitega10,953,317 (2019)27,830 km2
Flag of CameroonCameroonYaoundé26,545,864 (2020)475,440 km2
Flag of Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde)Cape VerdePraia543,767 (2018)4,033 km2
Flag of Central African RepublicCentral African RepublicBangui5,496,011 (2019)622,984 km2
flag of ChadChadN’Djamena16,244,513 (2020)1,284,000 km2 
Flag of ComorosComorosMoroni873,724 (2019)2,235 km2
flag of CongoCongoBrazzaville5,244,359 (2018)342,000 km2
flag of the Democratic Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the CongoKinshasa101,780,263 (2020)2,344,858 km2 
flag of DjiboutiDjiboutiDjibouti1,078,373 (2019)23,200 km2
flag of EgyptEgyptCairo100,075,480 (2020)1,001,450 km2
flag of Equatorial GuineaEquatorial GuineaMalabo1,308,975 (2018)28,051 km2
flag of EritreaEritreaAsmara6,081,196 (2020)117,600 km2
flag of Eswatini (Swaziland)EswatiniLobamba (legislative and royal capital)
Mbabane (executive capital)
1,136,281 (2018)17,364 km2
flag of EthiopiaEthiopiaAddis Ababa109,224,414 (2018)
1,104,300 km2
flag of GabonGabonLibreville2,119,275 (2018)267,667 km2
flag of GambiaGambiaBanjul2,173,999 (2020)11,300 km2
flag of GhanaGhanaAccra31,072,940 (2020)238,533 km2
flag of GuineaGuineaConakry12,414,293 (2018)245,857 km2
flag of Guinea-BissauGuinea-BissauBissau1,604,528 (2019)36,125 km2
flag of Côte d'IvoireIvory CoastYamoussoukro (legislative capital)
Abidjan (administrative capital)
26,378,274 (2020)
322,463 km2
flag of KenyaKenyaNairobi47,564,296 (2019)580,367 km2
flag of LesothoLesothoMaseru2,108,328 (2018)30,355 km2
flag of LiberiaLiberiaMonrovia5,073,296 (2015)111,369 km2
flag of LibyaLibyaTripoli6,871,287 (2018)1,759,540 km2
flag of MadagascarMadagascarAntananarivo26,262,313 (2018)587,041 km2 
flag of MalawiMalawiLilongwe19,129,952 (2020)
118,484 km2
flag of MaliMaliBamako20,250,833 (2020)1,240,192 km2
new flag of MauritaniaMauritaniaNouakchott4,077,347 (2019)1,030,700 km2
flag of MauritiusMauritiusPort Louis1,265,475 (2019)2,040 km2
flag of MoroccoMoroccoRabat36,472,000 (2019)446,550 km2
flag of MozambiqueMozambiqueMaputo30,066,648 (2020)799,380 km2
flag of NamibiaNamibiaWindhoek2,746,745 (2020)824,292 km2
flag of NigerNigerNiamey22,442,831 (2018)1,267,000 km2
flag of NigeriaNigeriaAbuja206,630,269 (2020)923,768 km2 
flag of RwandaRwandaKigali12,374,397 (2019)26,338 km2 
flag of Sao Tome and PrincipeSão Tomé and PríncipeSao Tome211,028 (2018)964 km2
flag of SenegalSenegalDakar15,854,323 (2018)196,722 km2
flag of SeychellesSeychellesVictoria97,096 (2018)455 km2
flag of Sierra LeoneSierra LeoneFreetown7,092,113 (2015)71,740 km2 
flag of SomaliaSomaliaMogadishu15,893,219 (2020)637,657 km2
flag of South AfricaSouth AfricaPretoria (Executive capital)
Cape Town (Legislative capital)
Bloemfontein (Judicial capital)
58,775,022 (2019)
1,219,090 km2
flag of South SudanSouth SudanJuba12,778,250 (2019)644,329 km2
flag of SudanSudanKhartoum41,592,539 (2019)1,861,484 km2
flag of TanzaniaTanzaniaDodoma56,313,438 (2018)947,300 km2
flag of TogoTogoLomé8,608,444 (2020)56,785 km2
flag of TunisiaTunisiaTunis11,722,038 (2019)163,610 km2
flag of UgandaUgandaKampala42,729,036 (2018)241,038 km2
flag of ZambiaZambiaLusaka17,351,708 (2018)752,618 km2
flag of ZimbabweZimbabweHarare15,159,624 (2019)390,757 km2